By Kyleigh Barao, Sports Editor
The 2020 summer Olympic games, officially known as “The Games of the XXXII Olympiad,” or more commonly known as “Tokyo 2020,” have been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time ever the Olympics has been postponed for a reason not related to war, and the fourth ever postponement of the games. The games were also postponed in the years 1916, 1940 and 1944.
In a joint statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, “even though the Olympic games are now taking place in 2021, they will still carry the official moniker of Tokyo 2020.” Meaning that the gear and merchandise for these games will still say “Tokyo 2020” although they will actually be taking place in 2021.
This change may come as a breath of relief for athletes wishing to compete for a spot in the Olympics, but suddenly found their training situations to be drastically changed due to covid-19. They now can appropriately put health and social distancing techniques first, train at home, and have the confidence to know they have more time to prepare and train for the Olympics.
Many Olympic athletes took to social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to share their opinions on the postponement.
Andrea Seccafien, a Canadian Olympic runner, tried to keep her followers optimistic with her post. “When something unfortunate happens, I cope by thinking ‘It could be worse’ because it makes me realize that, no matter what, you have something to be thankful for. It could be worse if the Olympics were canceled. It could be worse if the Olympics went on as scheduled… I take comfort in the fact that the IOC has made the responsible decision to postpone the Olympics until next year. I don’t feel sad, I feel very grateful. To me this is a victory.”
Two-time Olympic champion sprint freestyle swimmer Simone Manuel posted, “Let me start by saying that I completely support the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” She then continues to advocate for mental health by saying, “I encourage all of you to take some time to allow yourself to mentally process how you are feeling. I believe it is an important part in the healing process to move forward.”
Sports Commentator and former U.S. Olympian Summer Sanders took to Instagram with the statement, “Thank you IOC and @tokyo2020 for making such a smart and compassionate decision. Now our total focus can be on two things… staying healthy and stopping the spread!”
The dates of the postponed games have been released as July 23, 2021- August 8, 2021.